Archive for August, 2011

Symbiotic relationships develop within business incubators

August 29, 2011

Early-stage businesses join incubators for many reasons but typically what they find once they’re in one is relationships with the other incubator-based businesses that accelerate their own growth.

Being in a one state-of-the-art facility has many benefits. Entrepreneurs share the basic operating costs of a receptionist, utilities, equipment and computer services, conference rooms and laboratory space. Incubators provide legitimacy to other businesses in the community that typical startups do not have. Other firms and potential customers simply see them in a different light – as a viable, small business that will make it long term. That legitimacy also allows them greater access to capital from lenders who are more willing to provide funding to incubator businesses. And, of course, there is the consulting help from staff and an advisor network that comes with being a client. In short, risk is driven down – a crucial component for early success.

Often when entrepreneurs consider an incubator they often overlook a key aspect of participation – the relationships they will soon develop after moving in; relationships with neighbors next door, across the hall, on another floor or across the building. Other startups and entrepreneurs become invaluable to a new business just opening its doors.

People run into each other in common areas while walking in hallways, collecting mail or at the printing center (called the “watercooler effect”). Small businesses have similar, common functions. The people in a new business may find mentors that support them and teach them something about the day-to-day operations of running a startup. They may find someone who will answer a simple bookkeeping question or a billing procedure. Clients could even get together for informal or organized training. They can discuss issues and opportunities that are mutual to them all.

Or, a long-term mentor relationship may develop. A new friend can provide encouragement. Friends can provide free consulting advice that will help a small business avoid pitfalls and grow well into the future.

Beyond the psychological support, business relationships develop in incubators among clients as they find services they need from each other. A majority of these new companies trade services, or seek or receive business from each other. This is the seed of the multiplier effect and wealth creation.

For example, at Orange County Business Accelerator, a firm like Daubman Corporate Interiors, a company that provides project programming, facility needs assessment, interior design, cost evaluation and scheduling, may benefit from a relationship with Connected Contractors, which provides businesses with easy-to-use, low-cost, web-based software to generate new leads and track projects. Or, perhaps 4e Productions, a multimedia production company that balances entertainment and education to create original programming, may partner on a project with Cognition Media, which creates educational software for the classroom, on a major project that requires the need for both firms’ services.

So, although there are many good reasons to join an incubator there is also the camaraderie of the clients that becomes invaluable to a business for years into the future. It always feels good to find a new friend and to hold onto that symbiotic relationship for a long, long time. In this case, it could help your business stay alive when new and thrive as it grows older.

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PHOTO BLOG: Frugaldoo and the Accelerator hit the airwaves in Orange County

August 22, 2011

Many thanks to Van Ritshie for making us a part of his show last week!

Frugaldoo Vice President Bill Zurilla and I had a great time talking business on WGNY!

 

 

 

 

Who is the entrepreneur?

August 15, 2011

Do entrepreneurs have special genes that drive them to be self-sufficient and strong-willed? Or is it the simple need to succeed throughout life that keeps them moving forward? One thing is sure: They all seem to share similar characteristics in life.

Identity and Beliefs

Entrepreneurs have strong sense of identity and believe they are always destined for something greater in life. They all have a strong need to achieve, not just a desire to work. They are visionaries and pioneers, passionate and energetic, and extremely optimistic.

It’s not to say they are egotistical or narcissistic; they simply believe they have the skills and confidence to succeed in anything they do and put their best foot forward in their endeavors.

These characteristics are core values that the entrepreneur couldn’t even imagine living without; they bring strength for the entrepreneurial need to achieve, and continue achieving, throughout life. This necessity, as well as the refusal to accept failure, according to many scientific professionals, is a major correlation factor of successful entrepreneurs.

“I have not failed; I’ve only found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” –Thomas Edison

Capabilities

Entrepreneurs have natural capabilities to function in everyday life: Strong ability to make tough decisions, identify opportunities, solve large problems, provide leadership and build a thriving business. They also are very self-aware when it comes to tasks; they often are resourceful when finding the right person to complete a task that may be better qualified to do so more effectively and efficiently.

Perhaps most importantly, they have the ability to push off gratification. Seeing the larger picture in business and looking past instant indulgence and satisfaction are a recipe for success. Successful entrepreneurs have the foresight to see into the economic future and make strategic decisions based on calculated figures. A dedicated and motivated business owner uses this philosophy as his or her guiding light through the journey of entrepreneurship.

“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” – Donald Trump

 

Behaviors

Entrepreneurs demonstrate certain behaviors that differentiate themselves from the expectation that a typical “employee” expects. They have constant “internal talk,” or brainstorms to find solutions. Communication with others is a must-have strength for the successful businessman or woman, as well.

Always striving to do better, entrepreneurs never settle. They’re action oriented and never stop thinking. They strive for a high level of excellence without the need for supervision or accountability and are very tenacious in their duties.

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

The business world presents many challenges, both on a micro level with daily operations, as well as a macro level with long-term goals. The entrepreneur laughs in the face of uncertainty, embraces the diversity of culture, resources knowledgeable talent and seizes opportunities. Carpe Diem.

SIGNS OF THE FUTURE

August 7, 2011

 

 

Since opening our doors just 89 weeks ago, the Accelerator has attracted 16 early-stage innovators with nearly 60 people working as our 10,000-square-foot facility in New York International Plaza at Stewart Airport.

From cancer research equipment to energy efficiency technology… from cell phone applications to silicon chip research… and from aquaculture to digital, web-based innovation. Our field of diversity keeps on growing!

Accelerator clients will have a profound impact on Orange County’s economic development as they are poised to create up to 300 high-tech/high pay jobs over the next 3-5 years!

Congratulations to all of our early-stage innovators! By joining the Accelerator, they are displaying pride and confidence in their abilities to stride toward entrepreneurial success!

Frugaldoo makes second expansion at the Accelerator

August 1, 2011

A firm believer in the competitive advantage offered at the Accelerator, Frugaldoo is now poised to make its second expansion at our New Windsor office.

Eight months ago, the self-proclaimed “hometown mobile marketplace” doubled its 250-square foot presence. It is now moving into a 1,000-square-foot suite, doubling its current space here once again. Oh… and they’re doubling their workforce, too.

Frugaldoo is a mobile software developer that is currently working on launching a new product that will allow business to advertise to target markets through mobile texts, and allow consumers access to deals from local businesses for a variety of products and services.

The way it works: You want to find a restaurant near your current location. Text “restaurant” or “food” to 378425 (FRUGAL). Moments later, a list of establishments with special offers is on your mobile device.

With a few tweaks of the business plan and marketing strategy, the Accelerator has provided Frugaldoo with the foundation for their mobile marketing model. Since joining the Accelerator in 2010, the firm, started by two Dow Jones executives – Bill Zurilla and Patrick Carr, has been working diligently to increase market awareness of its product – boots-on-the-ground work. Frugaldoo has since signed numerous merchants, building a constructive revenue stream for its text-based services.

Bill and Patrick are perfect examples of early-stage innovators at work: entrepreneurs with a strong business model striving for excellence. Just what we look for at the Accelerator.

“All reality starts with a dream.”   -Henry Ford

Help us help you realize your dreams! It could all start with a simple call…(845)220-2208.